Main Article Content
The article discusses the issues of education and educational aspirations among indigent women with many children. Partial results of qualitative research carried out in 2013-14 and in 2017 on families supported by institutional social assistance were used as the empirical basis of this paper. The analysis mainly focuses on the aspirational self-identification of the respondents (mostly poorly educated and functioning outside the labour market) and their attitudes towards education. Both the mothers’ self-presentations and other fragments of their interviews make it possible to determine how they perceive their own situation and how they define their current and potential educational activities – especially in the context of deficiencies they experience (here the impact of the “Family 500 plus” programme introduced in 2016 is essential), their large families and family responsibilities.
A clear – especially in the first stage of the research – presence of educational threads in the narratives of the respondents indicates that this type of activity is declaratively significant for some mothers. Returning to the surveyed families after a few years allows the author to broaden and objectify the reasoning and estimate how the respondents’ educational aspirations are realised (and turned into specific activities), and to what extent they are just learned, almost recited answers which are to protect the woman from perceiving herself as poor, uneducated and consequently marginalized or socially excluded.
Studies into the sociology of poverty, sociological theories of identity and grounded theory methodology are the theoretical and methodological basis of the presented analyses.